UK housing costs among the most expensive in EU

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The proportional cost of household bills is higher in the UK than for most other EU member states (Source: Getty)

British households are among the most heavily burdened in the EU for housing costs, shelling out a higher proportion of outgoings on basic living expenses than most other member states.

Residents of the UK spent 27.1 per cent of overall expenditure on housing, water, electricity, gas ans other fuels, according to Eurostat. This puts it below only Denmark (29.1 per cent) and Finland (28.4 per cent) as the current member states with the highest proportion of outgoings on housing.

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The average expenditure on housing for all member states was nearly a quarter of spending at 24.5 per cent. Only six countries sit above this threshold, with France, Sweden and the Czech Republic joining the top three.

The cheapest place to live was Malta, where residents spend just over 10 per cent of the average outgoings on household costs. This was significantly lower than the next most affordable state, which was Lithuania, where over 15 per cent goes on housing and utilities costs.

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Housing remained the most significant of all household expenditure main items, and its proportion has increased since 2006 to 24.5 per cent, where it was 22.7 per cent just over a decade ago.

The UK’s high level of outgoings on housing and utilities has remained relatively stable, whereas other states have experienced major increases.

But in 2016, the UK had the lowest proportional expenditure on food, spending just 7.1 per cent of outgoings compared to an EU average of 11.1 per cent. Brits also spent more than average on restaurants and cafés, using 7.1 per cent of overall expenditure. But Spaniards spent the most in this category, putting 14.8 per cent of outgoings into going out.

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